Famous Taiwanese agricultural products are not native to the island

[quote=“headhonchoII”]Except New Zealand Maori were growing it 1000 years ago!
Here’s a paper on the subject, obviously it’s a complicated story.

npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/0 … e-columbus


that’s great, learned something new. However the spread seems to have stopped at Polynesia, it never made it into Micronesia so it never made it to Taiwan. It’s one of those strong evidences that Polynesians came in contact with Americas.

Thanks for that! A bit more limited than my original impression, but still some good genetic evidence that was previously lacking…

and also evidence that Polynesians took chickens to South America.

one confounding strand is that modern sweet potatoes available in Taiwan and other places may have completely supplanted older versions, which were there from the earlier migrations. Why plant an inferior version, when a newer import might be a stronger crop, etc. So the current genetics are not a 100% guarantee of the whole history.

yes, I’m just doing my mod thing and actually reading all the stuff in this subforum. you can relax.

What a great thread, cant believe i missed it!

I think the debate on native or introduced will never end.until the definitions are defined. Specifically what defines native. I think 2 main points MUST be addressed.

  1. How many years must pass before an introduction becomes native.

  2. Is the native species classification justified if any of the various human species transported it,or are humans somehow not considered part of the natural order?

If these points cant be agreed on, there will never be acceptance on anything.

As a rule though, no cacti are native to Asia, so those dragon fruit, prickly pears and others are all very much non native species and actually fairly recently introduced to here by people. Things like Capsicum species in Africa vs south america are a bit more confusing.

For agricultural products, I think something is truly native to a place if it is domesticated there. Usually that also means that plant species is native to that area.

The other definition would be if something has been there for a long time, then is native to that area. I don’t really think that definition is useful in this context though. It would still have been transported by people in someway to get to the new location, instead of naturally propagating across the ocean.

Bananas? Wiki says they were native to New Guinea and spread backwards into the Austronesian migration.

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It’s native to Musa species are native to tropical Indomalaya and Australia, and possibly had been first domesticated in Papua New Guinea.

However, it is likely there were independent domestication elsewhere in the Austronesian world. The kind that we eat today is a hybrid of the Papua variety and Indomalaya variety.

From New Guinea, cultivated bananas spread westward into Island Southeast Asia through proximity (not migrations). They hybridized with other (possibly independently domesticated) subspecies of Musa acuminata as well as Musa balbisiana in the Philippines, northern New Guinea, and possibly Halmahera. These hybridization events produced the triploid cultivars of bananas commonly grown today.

Well, “a long time” doesnt cut it in science hehe. need a number or email system that is clear.

The fun thing about biology is its so diverse and so adaptable and fast evolving, many species are essentially stuck in unknown status.

But many taiwanese are conviced cherimoya, roselle and mango are native taiwan species as well.

I say give it a 5000 year timeline and it is native. Huma.s are allowed to contribute as we are a species of animal that also distribute food no different than a bat or an ant.

But not everyone is going to agree on any system put forth. Makes it more interesting

Again, I think it depends on the context. Say we apply your 5k years cut off to humans, do you think it sounds reasonable to say humans are native to the Americas, Australia, Asia, or even Europe just because we’ve been living in those places for over 50,000 years? Or does saying the homo genus is native to Africa makes more sense?

Thats why we pick a time. Becaus if we want to go back and forth to the big bang we are all native, everywhere…which is also true. The term native species is actually literally a construct of placing a thung in a place with a time stamp. Thats what needs to happen on a n agreed upon level.

Regardless of time. 500, 100, 300, 10000 etc. Whatever but as a species we should be able to dlset defintions to our arbitrary words.

So if we say 5000 years. Yes, humans are native to the americas based on current evidence.

However, if you want to go back to when humans existed only in africa, wwe go back so far that geography was also literally different and to be hinest we dont posess the tech or know how to figure much out that long ago. So it would be a bit unrealistic to pick say 150,000 years as defining a native species because we cannot trace nearly all soecies that far back. And frankly, that many years creates a problem with evolutionary biology becuase new species car emerge within that timeline. So no, i dont think thats agood definiion for this box we need to create to define this word.